Rear Windshields – An Oft-Overlooked Feature of Auto Safety

There can be plenty of accidents and tragedies that strike us when we least expect it, and a fair share of them can take place while on the road. Automobile accidents are one of the biggest causes of premature death, and almost none of them can be expected in advance. Even if you are operating your automobile safely, someone else’s negligence can cause an accident to occur in the blink of an eye. Because of this, it is always important to ensure that your automobile has as many safety features and amenities installed as possible and that all of them are in tip-top shape at all times.

We are all aware of our windshields and how they help protect us from the elements, but did you know that windshields are also responsible for a majority of a vehicle’s strength in the event of a roll-over? In addition to this, windshields and auto glass help keep a controlled climate possible in an automobile, which was something that the first vehicles on the road did not possess. Because we often only see it through our rear-view mirrors, it can be easy to forget about the rear windshield and all of the safety and convenience it provides. Below, we will discuss the basics of this automobile feature and why you should pay more attention to it.

Its Purpose

A rear windshield serves to provide many of the same benefits and protections that your front windshield provides, even if you do not always see it. For starters, the rear windshield helps reinforce the strength of the automobile in the event of a collision or roll-over; with stringent safety regulations now in place, this is a prime concern for manufacturers. In addition to this, the rear windshield provides visibility to drivers and at the same time directs precipitation and other elements away from the interior of the automobile. While it does not block the wind as much as a front-facing windshield does, it still helps minimize cabin disruptions caused by wind as you drive down the street.

In addition to this, the rear windshield helps keep the interior cabin of your automobile insulated and isolated. Without this element, you would either have no rear visibility or be exposed to cold/hot temperatures every time you get behind the wheel. In addition to the standard concerns of visibility, most newer rear windshields provide drivers with access to defrosting systems that keep fog and frost from obscuring your view as you drive to work or run errands.

The Importance of Repairs

As with any form of auto glass, needed repairs should be performed at the first sight of damage. The Auto Glass Safety Council reports that dozens of people will die each year due to accidents in which their windshields and auto glass strength was compromised due to damage. In some cases, a cracked rear windshield may make the difference between life and death in a roll-over or severe accident. It also goes without saying that a repair is much cheaper than a total windshield replacement; if your rear windshield is damaged beyond repair, expect to pay hundreds of dollars for a replacement. If you catch the damage early and have it treated, though, the repairs will most likely be covered by your auto insurance.

The Replacement Process

If you have waited too long, however, and do require a full rear windshield replacement job, you should be aware of what it entails. A qualified auto glass technician should always be used for any replacement job, as he or she will inspect the damage carefully before making any decisions. If the auto glass cannot be repaired, the technician will then remove the damaged glass from the vehicle. Any debris or shards of glass will be vacuumed out of the car to ensure maximum safety and a good fit. The new rear windshield will be inserted and the technician will connect any features to the car’s electronic systems (such as rear defrosters or windshield wipers). The glass is then cleaned and you are ready to hit the roads again.

Common Types of Damage

The rear windshield may not face the same everyday situations as the front windshield does, but it is still vulnerable to damage. Falling tree limbs and other objects are a common reason why rear windshields have to be repaired or replaced. In addition to this, car thefts and vandalism are another major reason why windshields in the rear of vehicles have to be replaced. Of course, the same natural elements can wreak havoc on your rear windshield: hail, freezing temperatures other forms of debris while on the road can all find their way into contact with your rear windshield.


Rear windshields play a vital role in protecting us from danger and keeping us safe from the elements. While it is more likely that your front windshield will be subject to damage, rear-facing windshields may also be subjected to forms of damage that can weaken their strength and reduce their effectiveness. Strength in the event of a roll-over and visibility are both very important elements of any form of auto glass, so it is vital that any repairs or replacements that are necessary be performed as soon as possible by a qualified auto glass technician.